Welcome to the 'New Somerset and Dorset Railway'

The original Somerset and Dorset Railway closed very controversially in 1966. It is time that decision, made in a very different world, was reversed. We now have many councillors, MPs, businesses and individuals living along the line supporting us. Even the Ministry of Transport supports our general aim. The New S&D was formed in 2009 with the aim of rebuilding as much of the route as possible, at the very least the main line from Bath (Britain's only World Heritage City) to Bournemouth (our premier seaside resort); as well as the branches to Wells, Glastonbury and Wimborne. We will achieve this through a mix of lobbying, trackbed purchase and restoration of sections of the route as they become economically viable. With Climate Change, road congestion, capacity constraints on the railways and now Peak Oil firmly on the agenda we are pushing against an open door. We already own Midford just south of Bath, and are restoring Spetisbury under license from DCC, but this is just the start. There are other established groups restoring stations and line at Midsomer Norton and Shillingstone, and the fabulous narrow gauge line near Templevcombe, the Gartell Railway.

There are now FIVE sites being actively restored on the S&D and this blog will follow what goes on at all of them!
Midford - Midsomer Norton - Gartell - Shillingstone - Spetisbury

Our Aim:

Our aim is to use a mix of lobbying, strategic track-bed purchase, fundraising and encouragement and support of groups already preserving sections of the route, as well as working with local and national government, local people, countryside groups and railway enthusiasts (of all types!) To restore sections of the route as they become viable.
Whilst the New S&D will primarily be a modern passenger and freight railway offering state of the art trains and services, we will also restore the infrastructure to the highest standards and encourage steam working and steam specials over all sections of the route, as well as work very closely with existing heritage lines established on the route.

This blog contains my personal views. Anything said here does not necessarily represent the aims or views of any of the groups currently restoring, preserving or operating trains over the Somerset and Dorset Railway!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Right Lines 6

Right Lines 6 has now arrived (bigger than ever!) and we are now in the process of sending them out to all members. It may take a week or so to get them all out so don't worry if they are not with you immediately!

We were going to send out the new membership cards with the magazine run but it will be easier to get all the magazines out and then deal with the membership cards, which number about 50, most of which are for members who took advantage of the discounted three year offer.

You'll also find details of how to donate to the MIDFORD REBUILDING APPEAL!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spetisbury 13.7.2014

(All pics copyright Kevin Mitchell 13.7.2014)

Some pics from yesterday's work party at Spetisbury. All New S&D members are welcome to join in, work parties are on most Sundays.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Gartell last weekend - freight 'n' all!

C.J. sits patiently with GLR no. 5 'Alison' at PW 29 signal, as the 'Pines Express' heads through with a non-stop to 'Park Lane' headed by GLR No.9 'Jean' with Driver Steve Rodd at the controls, and owner/builder/fireman Dr. Alan 'Chalky' White alongside him.

The rare sight of three trains at 'Pinesway Junction'

C.J. keeps his eye on Driver Mike Baker at the controls of GLR no. 1 'Amanda' as he takes a down train off the branch at 'Pinesway Junction'

The goods train waits in the platform at 'Pinesway Junction' as a non-stop service heads through for 'Park Lane'

The signal PW 29 comes off for a down train on the branch at the moment the photographer releases his shutter!

(all pics 29.6.2014 copyright John Penny/Gartell Railway)

Scenes on the GLR taken 29th June. What a day; the weather was fine and several visiting parties enjoyed the show. Good to see the motorbike club, the lads from Yeovil Junction, the Plymouth railway circle, the 'G' scale crew and of course all our other visitors. A two-train 25 minute service (always sufficient on our June date) allowed other staff to provide breaks - and we even ran goods trains for the benefit of the photographers and the entertainment of the rest (including ourselves!) 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Midsomer Norton Working Weekend

Come and make a difference - volunteer working week, August 18 - 23, 2014.

The railway is holding a working week to consolidate efforts around specific tasks which require urgent completion, in some cases by a group of people. Running from Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd, this is open to existing members/volunteers only, due to insurance considerations. The type of jobs available and working times will be drawn up by Volunteer Co-ordinator Alan Price, who hopes for a good turn-out and the satisfaction of jobs well done. If you can spare a day or two, or even more, then Alan wants to hear from you! Please email and your enquiry will be forwarded to Alan.


You can sign-up online for a very modest fee here. You'll not only contribute to our efforts, but receive free magazines and newsletters to keep you abreast of things on the S&D at Midsomer Norton.